SUKKUR: “It was like any other day - I was returning home after a hard day’s labour when suddenly a huge explosion rocked the Barrage Colony. I don’t even know if it was a bullet that hit me in the arm or a shotgun slug. I just remember running as fast as I could.”
Sitting in the Sukkur Civil Hospital with bandages on his body, Abdul Sami Jamali shared his experience of the attacks carried out at the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Sukkur Office on Wednesday with The Express Tribune. A resident of Bihar Colony, Jamali said that he had never heard such a huge blast in his life. “I felt as if the world was coming to an end. My parents were shocked when they saw my blood-soaked clothes and my elder brother rushed me to the civil hospital.”
Amanat Ali, a resident of Bachal Shah Miani, was among those who were breaking their fast at the time of the attack which has claimed nine lives up till now. “As soon as we heard the blast, we rushed outside our homes. As we were trying to understand what was happening, firing started and a stray bullet hit me, fracturing my wrist,” said Miani. “Panic spread through our area and people started running in search of a shelter. When the blasts and firing subsided, only then was I shifted to the hospital.”
Police constable Mehar Ali, deployed at the DIG House, was offering Maghrib prayers in the mosque in the compound when he felt the bomb go off. Something fell on his head, knocking him unconscious. “All the people praying in the mosque, including Pesh Imam Abdul Qayoom Soomro, were injured because of the aftershocks of the explosion,” Ali told The Express Tribune. “Most of the injured were taken to the civil hospital while the Pesh Imam was shifted to the Combined Military Hospital in Pano Akil.”
It took Atta Mohammad, a driver with the Sukkur SDM, a few minutes to fully comprehend what was going on around him. “I was in the circuit house when the attack started. We were sitting down for iftar when we felt the huge explosion and a big piece of plaster fell upon my head, making me fall down,” recalled Mohammed. “At first I failed to understand what was going on but when the firing started, I realised that something was wrong in the neighbourhood. The sound of gun shots and low intensity of blasts continued for more than one hour and then it stopped - after that we could only hear the blaring sirens of ambulances which were shifting the injured and the deceased to the hospitals. Doctors have used some stitches on my wound and now I am feeling better.”
For Bhagwan Das and his wife Laxmi, who work as sanitary workers at the DIG House, most of what happened after the blast was a blur. “We were in the courtyard of our quarters when we felt the explosion and ran outside. As soon as we came out, our quarters along with others’ were razed to the ground,” said Bhagwan Das. “I still don’t know how I received injuries. Something also hit my wife in her ribcage and she has been admitted to the hospital. Although everyone tried to find a safe space when the attack was being carried out, they still ended up being wounded.”
Published in The Express Tribune, July 26th, 2013.
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